Arnhem – Roman castellum
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Arnhem
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Arnhem – Roman castellum

Arnhem – Roman castellum
Arnhem – Roman castellum
Arnhem – Roman castellum
Arnhem – Roman castellum
Arnhem – Roman castellum
Arnhem – Roman castellum
Arnhem – Roman castellum
Arnhem – Roman castellum

The Roman fort in Meinerswijk is the only one archaeologists have discovered in the province of Gelderland. Castra Herculis is mentioned in the famous Roman Peutinger map and is also referred to by the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus

Castra Herculis
The fort was built between 10 and 20 AD and may have been used in preparation for the last Germanic campaign of Germanicus in the year 16 AD, when one thousand Roman ships gathered in the Betuwe area: war ships as well as vessels for transporting legions. The fort is strategically situated opposite the mouth of the ‘primeval’ Ijssel river. Around 70 AD, the fort fell victim to violent attacks when Batavians rebelled in what is known as the Batavian Revolt. A thick layer of ash that was discovered here, still bears witness to this. The fort itself was subsequently rebuilt and at the end of the 2nd century, the Romans constructed an entirely new fort out of stone.

Principia
The only part of Castra Herculis to have been excavated is its headquarters or ‘principia’. It measures 34 x 38 metres and has walls that are 1.40 metres thick. The roof tiles were Holdeurns ware, which came from the large tile works in the Holthurnsche Hof. The prefect, the commander of the fort, had his seat in the principia. He addressed his troops in a large covered hall, the basilica. There was also an administrative office, a supply room and a temple, the aedes. The aedes was where the legions kept their banners and standards as well as their funds.

Reuse of building material
In the early and late Middle Ages, the walls and foundations of the fort were dismantled for reuse, possibly for the construction of the Frankish trading post of Meginhardiswich or Meginhardi. The majority of what was left of the fort was subsequently washed away over the centuries. The only building to survive the erosion to any extent was the principia.

Arnhem – Roman castellum
Arnhem – Roman castellum
Arnhem – Roman castellum
Arnhem – Roman castellum
Arnhem – Roman castellum
Arnhem – Roman castellum
Arnhem – Roman castellum
Arnhem – Roman castellum

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